John 7:1 After these things Jesus walked about in Galilee: for he would not walk about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.
After the previous things that happened during his earthly ministry, including healing the sick on the Sabbath and declaring himself equal to God (John 5:18) Jesus Christ spent most of his time in Galilee, and would not remain in Judea because the Jewish leaders sought to kill him. There is no evidence to indicate any Jews, other than the Jewish leaders sought to kill Jesus.
John 7:2 Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand.
The feast of tabernacles or the feast of tents was celebrated from the 15th day of Tisri; around the second half of September and the first half of October. During this time the people lived in tents for seven days, to commemorate their dwelling in tents during their forty years in the wilderness. The last and eight day of the feast was known as the great day of the feast (John 7:37).
Verses 3 - 5
John 7:3 His brethren therefore said unto him, depart from here, and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see the works that you do. 4 For there is no man that does anything in secret, while he himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, you show yourself to the world. 5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.
All though some of his brethren (that is close family members) believed in Jesus Christ, others not quite so close did not believe in him. And it was these brethren who did not believe, who were encouraging Jesus to depart from here and go into Judea. Perhaps they just wanted Jesus out of town for a while, for having Jesus Christ around town all the time must have been spiritually challenging for them. Perhaps they wanted the world to see and reject him. Perhaps some were even hoping the Jews would kill him.
So they encourage Jesus to go to Jerusalem, and perform signs and wonders there. There would surely many of Jesus disciples there, and this would be a good chance for Jesus to win back many of those who had just left him (John 6:66).
Verses 6 - 9
John 7:6 Then Jesus said unto them, my time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you; but it hates me because I testify of it, that its works are evil. 8 Go you up unto this feast: I am not yet going up unto this feast; for my time is not yet fully come. 9 When he had said these words unto them, he remained in Galilee.
Most of the people would have arrived at feast on the first day amidst great celebrations, and many, both friend and foe, would have been expecting and looking for Jesus. Therefore for Jesus to arrive early in the feast would have excited too much turmoil and opposition, while after a few days, most would have stopped expecting and looking for him, making it easier for him to arrive unnoticed. But for most others going to the feast, their time is always ready, for their arrival would cause no such excitement, turmoil or opposition.
Jesus Christ comment “for my time is not yet fully come;” was a referral to his coming crucifixion, for it would not be time for this until the feast of Passover. Therefore he remained in Galilee while his brethren went up to the feast.
Verses 10 - 13
John 7:10 But when his brethren had gone up, he then went up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, where is he? 12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, he is a good man: others said, no; but he deceives the people. 13 However no man spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews.
So it was that after his brethren had gone up, Jesus also went up to the feast but not openly. The leaders of the Jews sought him, for they wanted to kill him (John 5:18 & 7:1). And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him. However no man spoke openly of him because they feared the Jewish leaders and the Pharisees whom both said they would put any out of the synagogue if they confessed Jesus was the Christ (John 9:22 & 12:42).
Even during the time of Jesus Christ earthly ministry, his followers faced persecution.
John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you; the bond servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my sayings, they will keep yours also.
Verses 14 - 15
John 7:14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. 15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, how come this man knows the Scriptures, having never learned?
At feast time a number of rabbis would stand in the people’s court or on the steps of the temple and teach from the Scriptures. It would seem most likely Peter preached from one of these places on the Day of Pentecost. So it was when Jesus Christ went to the feast, as was his custom he stood up in a position he could both be seen and heard by a crowd and preached the gospel of the kingdom (Mark 14:49; Luke 19:47). And the Jews marvelled, saying, how come this man knows the Scriptures, having never learned?
Many of the Jews from Galilee would have known Jesus from when he was a young child. They would have seen him grow up, and therefore they would have known he was only home schooled and had neither been taught by any of the Rabbis or at any of their schools of learning, yet he taught as one having wisdom, authority and with sign and wonders following (Mark 1:22 & Matthew 13:54). And the Jews marvelled, wondering how can this man know and do these things?
How come? We know Jesus Christ had not been by taught by man to be able to do these things, because the Jews had seen him grow up amongst them. We know Jesus Christ could not do these things because he was God, because he had given up his equality with God to become just like us (Philippians 2:5 – 11).
Jesus Christ could do these things because God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and power, and because God was with him (Acts 10:28); and in so doing Jesus set an example for us, that we may follow in his footsteps. Also just as the Holy Spirit has come upon us with wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures (Luke 12:12 & John 14:26), the Holy Spirit also came upon Jesus Christ at his baptism.
Verses 16 - 18
John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, my teachings are not mine, but his that sent me. 17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of these teachings, whether they are of God, or whether I speak of myself. 18 He that speaks of himself seeks his own glory: but he that seeks to bring glory to him that sent him, this man is true, and has no injustice is in him.
In John 6:33 – 35 Jesus Christ says that he is the bread of life sent by God. So when Jesus says my teachings are not mine, but his that sent me, he is saying my teachings are God’s teachings, he sent me to teach these things, therefore I teach with God given authority.
Any man that lives his life to do the will of God, is open to the hearing from Spirit of God, and when they are taught the Spirit testifies with their spirit, whether or not these teachings are of God, therefore Jesus Christ could rightly say, if any man will do his will, he shall know of these teachings, whether they are of God, or whether I speak of myself.
Any man that speaks of himself seeks his own glory: but he that seeks to bring glory to him that sent him, the same is true, and has no injustice is in him. If we truly seek to bring glory to God, we cannot tell a lie; but if we seek to bring glory to ourselves, we become full of pride and pride comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18).
A proud man seeking his own glory, will not only lie to others about how perfect he is, he will also lie to himself, thus deceiving himself.
1John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
John 7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill me?
The scribes and the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus; therefore they sort to accuse him of breaking the law (John 5:14 - 16).
Then in John 7:16; Jesus Christ then tells them that it is by God authority, who sent him, that he preaches the gospel of the kingdom and heals the sick, then Jesus accuses the scribes and the Pharisees of not keeping the law.
Although the scribes and the Pharisees sat on Moses seat and taught the Law of Moses to the people, none did keep the Law (Matthew 23:2 – 3). For no one is just, we all fail in some way to keep the Law of Moses as it is written, There is none justified, no, not one (Romans 3:10).
Then Jesus gets more specific by accusing them of seeking to kill him, for the Law of Moses clearly says you shall not kill (Exodus 20:13).
John 7:20 The people answered and said, you have a devil: who seeks to kill you?
John 10:20 And many of them said he has a devil, and is mad; why do you listen to him?
The people; meaning the scribes and the Pharisees, knowing Jesus was talking about them, yet either blind to their own sin or not willing to admit they are sinners become very indignant. Then in one breath they accuse Jesus of having a devil, and ask him who seeks to kill you?
Many sinners not wanting to believe and love the truth, choose instead to believe and love the lies of the devil, and therefore they become deceived because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
II Thessalonians 2:9 The wicked one’s coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all injustice deception in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 So that they all might be condemned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in injustices.
Verses 21 - 24
John 7:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and you all marvel. 22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and you on the Sabbath day circumcise a man. 23 If a man on the Sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are you angry at me, because I have made a man completely whole on the Sabbath day? 24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge with just judgment.
Not that Jesus Christ had only done one work, but that they were only accusing him of the one work, that on a Sabbath he did heal a man who had been infirmed and unable to walk for 38 years, and at this one work they all marvelled. Having been accused of breaking the Law by healing this man on the Sabbath, Jesus then draws a parallel with the priest circumcising a man on the Sabbath. First of all Jesus points out the circumcision was not given to the Jews through Moses, but through their for fathers; for in Genesis 17:10 – 12 God made a covenant with Abraham, and as a sign of that covenant, the Children of Israel (through Abraham) are commanded to circumcise every male child on the eight day.
In Leviticus 12:3; the Law of Moses says that every male Child should be circumcised in the eight day.
But the Law of Moses also says
Exodus 20:8 Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shall you labour, and do all your work: 10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your bondman, nor your bond maid, nor your cattle, nor any guest or stranger that is within your gates:
When the Jewish priest, on the eight day after the birth of a male child, circumcised that child on the Sabbath Day, the priest (by his actions) declared the word of God to their forefathers, was a higher authority than the Law of Mosses.
Similarly in Mark 10:2 – 9 Jesus Christ points out although Moses, because of the hardness of your heart allows you to write your wife a bill of divorce and put her away, this was not how it was at creation. Thus Jesus Christ puts the word of God, given to our forefathers, right back to creation, above the Law of Mosses.
However, because of the hardness of their heart, Moses allowed the Children of Israel to write their wife a bill of divorce and put her away. But is it just? No! Because God told our forefathers, those whom God has joined together let no man separate.
Therefore the Law of Moses does not supersede that which God commanded us through our forefathers, who lived before Moses.
The priest on the eight day after the birth of a male child, circumcise that child, even if it is on the Sabbath Day; even though the Law of Moses says you should do no work on the Sabbath. But is it just? Yes! Because God told our forefathers to circumcise every male child on the eight day.
So justice is a higher authority than the Law of Mosses.
Jesus then says; Judge not according to the appearance, but judge with just judgment. Nor was this the only occasion Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath.
Luke 13:16 And should not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom you see has been bound by Satan eighteen years, be loosed from this bondage on the Sabbath day?
Verses 25 – 27
John 7:25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? 26 But, look and see, he speaks boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? 27 However we know where this man comes from; but when Christ comes no man will know from where he comes.
A number of People were under the impression that the Jewish leaders were seeking him to kill him. But here Jesus was speaking boldly in the public areas of Jerusalem, and the leaders did nothing. Why not? Their question was this because they reasoned, the Jewish leaders truly knew he was the Christ, and therefore would not touch him.
Others reasoned this could not be true, because we know where this man Jesus comes from, he is from Nazareth the son of Joseph and Mary; but when Christ comes no man will know from where he comes.
Verses 28 - 29
John 7:28 Then Jesus cried out in the temple as he taught, saying, you both know me, and you know where I am from: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom you know not. 29 But I know him: for I am from him, and he has sent me.
By the promised gift of the Holy Spirit that came upon Jesus at his baptism of repentance (Mark 1:4 – 10 & Acts 2:38) Jesus Christ knew what the people were thinking and talking about amongst themselves. Therefore as he taught he cried out in answer to the questions on their mind.
Many of those who were questioning whether Jesus was the Christ, would have heard the things Jesus said in John 6:26 – 60. In that passage the emphasis was that God the Father whom is in the sky above sent Jesus down to earth; therefore Jesus can say you know where I am from: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true.
There is only One who is truly true, and that is God. So God who sent Jesus Christ down from the sky is true. But those to whom Jesus was speaking to knew not God. But Jesus Christ knows God, for he came from God, and God sent him.
John 7:30 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.
Then they of the Pharisees and the chief priest sought to take him (verse 32): But because it was not yet the time for Jesus Christ to crucified, no one could lay a hand on him.
It is not that they had neither the mind nor the will to kill Jesus, but that God is ultimately in control and it was not yet Jesus Christ time to die for the sin of the world.
Some would quote;
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the sky: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pull up that which is planted;
While I believe God has a plan for our life, which includes a time to be born and a time to die, and I believe God is well able to protect us to see that we don’t die before our time, we do also have a free will to choose whether or not we daily live our lives according to that God given plan.
Also while Satan does not have the power or authority to kill us (Job 2:6) he can persuade us or someone else to take actions that will lead to our death. The more we daily choose to live our lives according to God’s plan, the more likely it is we will live to the time God appointed for us to die. The more we daily reject God’s plan, the more likely it is we will die early. Nevertheless, just as there was a time on the calendar when people can say we were born, after we die, there will also be a time on the calendar when people will be able to say we died.
Verses 31 - 32
John 7:31 And many of the people believed in him, and said, when Christ comes; will he do more miracles than these which this man has done? 32 The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.
Many of the people having seen the miracles Jesus Christ had done, and heard what he said, believed that Jesus was the Christ. The Pharisees, who mixed more freely with the people than the chief priests heard the people talking about Jesus the Christ having come from God above, went and reported these things to the chief priests; who then sent officers to take Jesus.
Verses 33 – 34.
John 7:33 Then said Jesus unto them, for a little while longer I am with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. 34 You shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am going, there you cannot come.
Here Jesus Christ is not just speaking to the officers whom the chief priest had sent, but to all those Jews who did not believe in Him. Saying unto them that only for a little while longer I am with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.
Early on; Jesus Christ had said to them I am the living bread which came down from the sky (John 6:51); and What if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before (John 6:62)? So Jesus is telling them I am about to ascend back to the sky.
Jesus could have been letting the officers know, that He would not be with them much longer, therefore they better act fast while they could still find him, but then Jesus knew his time had not yet come, and would not come until the time of Passover in six months time.
Jesus Christ looking ahead to his coming death on the cross says; You shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am going, there you cannot come.
Also Jesus Christ is looking ahead in time, to the comings destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D.; a time when those Jews who would not believe in Jesus Christ, will seek an all conquering Messiah; to deliver them from the armies of Rome.
Matthew 23:39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
John 7:35 Then said the Jews among themselves, where will he go, that we shall not find him? Will he go unto the Jews dispersed among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What is he talking about saying; you shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, there you cannot come?
Spiritual blindness had already come upon those Jews who did not believe, therefore the truth was hidden from them (Matthew 13:9-17). Over the years, many Jews had been scattered and dispersed among the nations, sometimes referred to as the Greeks; so they ask, Will he go unto the Jews dispersed among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? But they are confused because they have no understanding of the mysteries of the kingdom.
John 7:37 In the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that has faith in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (Jesus spoke this of the Spirit, which they that have faith him should receive: for the Holy Spirit had not yet been given; because Jesus was not yet glorified.)
See comments on John 4:13-14.
John 7:40 Therefore many of the people, when they heard this saying, said, truly this is the Prophet. 41 Others said this is the Christ, but some said shall Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that Christ comes of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? 43 So there was a division among the people because of him,
Many believed Jesus was the Prophet (Mat 16:44 & Deu 18:15). Others said he was the Christ, while others knowing he was brought up in Galilee, pointed out that the Scriptures said the Christ comes of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem(Mic 5:2).
Therefore there was a division among the people because of him.
John 7:44 and some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. 45 Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them; why have you not brought him? 46 The officers answered, never as a man spoken like this man.
Although there were those who did not believe Jesus was the Christ, and wanted to violently drag Jesus off to the Sanhedrim as an imposter and blasphemer to be tried and judged, no man laid hands on him. Their reasons for not laying hold of Jesus may have been many, but ultimately it was not yet Jesus Christ time to die for the sins of the world. Therefore when the chief priest and Pharisees question them has to why they had not brought Jesus to them, they made excuses.
John 7:47 Then the Pharisees answered them. Are you also deceived? 48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him?
The Pharisees accused them of being deceived, and pointing out that none of the rulers or Pharisees believed in him; which was not true, for some like Nicodemus believed.
John 7:49 But this people who know not the law are cursed.
Meaning the multitude who did not know all the laws the Scribes and Pharisees had added to the Law thus imposed heavy burdens upon the people, for which Jesus Christ rebukes the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:2-4).
John 7:50 Nicodemus said unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) 51 Does our law judge any man, before it hears him, and know what he does?
Nicodemus points out that according to the Law all man should have a fair hearing before he can be judged (Lev 19:15-16; Exo 23:1-2; Deu 19:15 & 18).
John 7:52 They answered and said unto him, are you not also of Galilee? Search and look: for no prophets arises out of Galilee. 53 Then every man went unto his own house.
But it was the Scribes and Pharisees who failed to Search the Scriptures correctly or they chose to ignore them; for in Isaiah 9:1 it is prophesied that the Messiah will come from Galilee.
Matthew 4:14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, 15 The land of Zebulun, and the land of Nephtali, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles (Isa 9:1).
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
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Scripture taken from the “Clarks English Translation” © Copyright 2011 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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